The Widowmaker, a pneumatic drill created to more efficiently mine ore, earned its nickname for a couple of reasons. One was that it replaced the two man drill, thus eliminating the “buddy system” and making a 10-12 hour shift underground a lonely and dangerous one. If you got trapped in a cave-in or injured there was nobody around to help you. Another big problem was the cloud of dust it kicked up. The buildup of these dust fragments in the lungs cause miners to become “rocked up” and unable to work, and within about six months or so they were usually dead.